Assam Police allows goods-laden trucks to enter Meghalaya amid border dispute

According to Mustafa Ahmed, Vice president of All India Road Transport Workers Federation, Assam Unit, the police have restricted entry of other vehicles except for Meghalaya registration vehicles

Updated - November 25, 2022 12:34 pm IST

Published - November 25, 2022 11:54 am IST - Guwahati

Security personnel stand guard near a forest office, a day after it was vandalised and burnt down by miscreants following violence at a disputed Assam-Meghalaya border location that killed six people, in West Karbi Anglong district.

Security personnel stand guard near a forest office, a day after it was vandalised and burnt down by miscreants following violence at a disputed Assam-Meghalaya border location that killed six people, in West Karbi Anglong district. | Photo Credit: PTI

Assam Police on November 25 allowed the goods-laden trucks to enter Meghalaya, for the first time after tensions rose between the two States following a clash in a disputed border area, in which six persons were killed four days ago, according to an official.

However, vehicles with only Meghalaya’s registration were allowed entry into the State.

According to Mustafa Ahmed, Vice president of All India Road Transport Workers Federation, Assam Unit, the police have restricted entry of other vehicles except for Meghalaya registration vehicles to the neighbouring State

Following the violence, Assam police stopped all vehicular movement (both trucks and passenger vehicles) to enter into Meghalaya at all entry points.

Transportation of fuel from Assam to the hill State has also been stopped by the apex petroleum workers' body since November 24, following reports of attacks on vehicles from the State in Meghalaya, though other vehicles ferrying goods continued to cross the border.

“The situation at the clash site in West Karbi Anglong district continued to remain tense but under control with security forces ensuring no further flare-ups,” official sources said. “Restrictions under CrPC Section 144 also remained in force in the area,” they added.

Also read: CBI will probe Assam-Meghalaya border firing, Amit Shah assures Meghalaya CM

"Yesterday in Shillong, public burnt police vehicles. The situation is not very good. That’s why we are advising people not to travel, especially people from Assam," Deputy Commissioner (East) of Guwahati Police Sudhakar Singh told PTI.

He said non-Assamese people have been travelling to Meghalaya, but they are being asked to go in vehicles that do not have Assam registration number plates. "The advisory (on avoiding travel to Meghalaya for people from Assam) remains," the officer added.

Cachar Superintendent of Police Nomal Mahatta also said similar restriction on people and vehicles from Assam entering Meghalaya through his district also is in force.

"People are being held up due to it. But the route passing through Dima Hasao district is being used by commuters," he said.

"For people from Meghalaya who needed to return, we arranged for vehicles from across the border," Mr. Mahatta added.

The apex petroleum workers body in Assam, from where all fuel go to Meghalaya, shot off separate letters to all PSU energy firms, including IOC, HPCL and BPCL, and informed the union's decision to not load products in the tankers.

Pointing out the attacks on vehicles with Assam number plates, the APMU letter said: "Our members are afraid to go...for supplying petroleum products." The union also warned that it will be the sole responsibility of the Meghalaya government if any untoward incident takes place.

Movement of other commercial vehicles ferrying goods has been continuing to the neighbouring State. Meanwhile, the last rites of the slain forest guard, the only person from Assam killed in the violence, will be conducted at his native village in West Karbi Anglong district on Friday.

The body of the Forest Protection Force personnel, identified as Bidyasing Lekhte, was handed over to Assam officials on Wednesday night by Meghalaya authorities in West Karbi Anglong district.

The local authorities conducted another post-mortem and handed the body to the family on Thursday.

Six people, including a forest guard, were killed in violence at a disputed area along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the early hours of Tuesday, after a truck allegedly laden with illegally felled timber was intercepted by forest personnel of Assam.

(With inputs from agencies)

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